Course Content
AutoCAD for beginners
About Lesson

In this lesson, I will show you how to use the Pan command, i.e. how you can “move” certain drawing elements around the screen. For that, one of the practice files will serve me well, and it wouldn’t be bad if you also open the same drawing on your computer.

The Pan command is one of the simplest, which means that you will immediately see its effect on the screen. To prove it to you, I will enter the letter P on the keyboard and immediately press Enter. At that moment, instead of a cross, an open hand will appear on the screen, so I just need to press the left mouse button and move it to the desired side without releasing it. If I repeat this process several times, it won’t be difficult for me to review the entire drawing in a simple way. I have to draw your attention to the fact that in this way the drawn elements are not moved, but only the position of the observer is changed, i.e. look at the drawing.

If you pay attention to the command line, you will see that it has an instruction to terminate this feature. This can be achieved by pressing the Esc or Enter keys, and if you press the right mouse button instead, you will be able to select one of the additional options. I will choose the first option and press Esc to terminate this command. At that moment, the cursor will return to its normal shape and a message will be written at the bottom of the screen informing me that AutoCAD is expecting a new command. Since I decided to dedicate this lesson to only one command – Pan, I will simply press the Space key to repeat it. It is often used in AutoCAD as a replacement for Enter and in this case it allows me to automatically run the last command. With the open hand back on the screen, I can move to the right side and display the rest of this drawing. Of course, if I press Space at this point, the Pan command will immediately terminate so I can continue working. I’m interested in what’s in the lower part of the drawing, so I’ll press Enter to return to the mode that allows me to change the view and with a few moves of the mouse, go down to the desired zone. Since I’ve used all the shortcuts so far, I have no choice but to press the right mouse button and go to additional options. As you can see, this menu contains a whole range of functions that allow you to change the view. Since they are dominated by various forms of the Zoom command, it would be best if I didn’t burden you with the details and use the Exit option at the top of the menu. Of course, this will result in the Pan function being terminated and returning to regular operating mode.

As you could see for yourself, there are several ways to achieve the same result in AutoCAD. In addition, the Pan command is not a special exception, but I must draw your attention to the fact that in this version of the program you can use it in a slightly different way. It is enough to first press the minus sign (-) on the keyboard and then enter the letter P and press Enter. After that, the program will ask you to specify two points and thus change the view of the drawing. I’m going to move a little to the right and down to show the center part of the drawing. For me, this way of moving is a bit more complex, but it is a legacy from previous versions of AutoCAD.

I believe that after all these combinations you can’t wait for me to reveal to you the easiest and simplest way to use the Pan command. However, you can only use this method if you have a mouse with a wheel at your disposal, i.e. a device with at least three buttons. In that case, it is enough to press the middle button or wheel and move the mouse in the desired direction. AutoCAD will automatically interpret this as a shortcut to the Pan command, so you won’t have a hard time completing it as usual. I will repeat this several times because I really like how simple this all is. If you pay attention to the command line, you will notice that for AutoCAD this shortcut does not represent a special function, which means that you can use it at any time, even if you have previously run another command. To prove it to you, I’m going to start the command to draw a circle and immediately click on the spot that represents its center. Since I want it to be a really big element, it is necessary to show the part of the drawing that is not currently on the screen. So I will press the middle key, ie. wheel and move to the left just enough so that I can finish drawing the large circle. After that I can check what I have achieved and see how far certain parts of the new element reach.

Before I finish this lesson, I must admit that changing the view can also be achieved by using the slider that is usually located on the right edge of the screen. In my case, this element is currently turned off, but it can easily be returned to its place. It is enough to launch the Options command by using the shortcut O and P and activate the corresponding option in the Display section. It is located on the left side, so it will not be difficult for you to click on the appropriate square and close this box with OK. Unfortunately, this way of moving isn’t particularly efficient, so I doubt you’ll be using it very often.

At this point, the most important thing to remember is that certain commands in AutoCAD can be applied in different ways and that it is up to you which one you choose. I admit that I like the shortcut the most, which allows me to easily move to any part of the drawing at any time, and I believe you will use it often.

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